So sad and So sweet

My concern and prayers are offered  for all who suffer in the path of destruction left by Hurricane Sandy. So many have lost absolutely all of their worldly possessions, and even worse, many have lost loved ones. At times like this, neighbors pitch in to help.  But Sandy’s swath of destruction is so wide that neighbors able to lend a helping hand are very far from the center of the damage.  It will be a long time until any semblance of normal is restored.

The guest room, quite unfit for guests.

In 2004, our home was badly damaged by Hurricane Charlie.  We were without power for almost a week in August, a brutally hot month in Florida.  We were miserable.  The suffering of Sandy’s victims is exacerbated by the bitter cold weather.  I encourage all readers to do what they can to help, through the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other crisis management organizations.

On a more cheerful note, in the midst of my own personal (but comparatively minimal) bronchial misery, I have started this daygown for our Christmas/New Years girl grandbaby.  So far as I’m concerned, forget about the Robitussin and Contact Cold +Flu Caplets!  Smocking is my best medicinal comfort.   It took a while to rally the energy to prepare this project for smocking but I couldn’t be more pleased with the work-in-progress results.

The very best thing about the pink confection daygown is the sweet, sweet fabric, striped dotted Swiss from Martha Pullen’s on-line store.

This 62″ 100% cotton Swiss fabric comes in pink, blue, yellow, white and aqua.  Now, striped dotted Swiss ranks up there at the top of my favorite fabrics list, along with my beloved Liberty of London tana lawn.

Life goes on, regardless of what ails us.  This past week has been a blur of activity with preparations for the county fair.  Robert, 7, and Laurel, 8, are highly motivated by the lure of cash and ribbons, both of which are distributed generously at our fair.  Laurel was a big winner last year.  Robert had a few entries but got a wake-up call when he saw his sister’s big payout.   This year, he was ready to take on the challenge.

We were so rushed that the projects and baking were finished on the day the entries were due at the fair’s check in locations.   There was no time for pictures.  I look forward to sharing with you the photos of the fruits of their labors.


The wad of white embroidery floss in the first photo triggered my memory of a shopping day 30 years ago.  Our pre-WalMart local discount store, Roses, had a special sale, offering DMC floss for $ .20 per skein.  I loaded 3 year old Rebecca and her friend Graham into the cart and began picking my discounted prizes.

Rebecca (L) and Graham (R), partners in “helpful” crime.  The photo is a digital version of a 31 year old slide, obviously deteriorating.

At that time, Graham’s mother and I had a homebased custom order smocking business, so I was shopping for Mary as well as myself.  More than 150 skeins of floss had been placed in the basket when a friend came down the aisle.

We chatted about this and that for some time, then I headed to the cashier to check out.  Imagine my shock when the little girls smiled at me, proudly offering me fists full of their “help.”  They had removed all the identifying number wrappers around the floss!

Some of that embroidery thread was used, but much of it ended up in the 4 year-old’s witness protection program, stuffed into a large zip lock bag in a drawer.  I plundered through the bag for a specific color only when I was certain that a single skein would suffice, as I could never be sure of an identical match.

Today, all these years later, I still have that tangled mass of floss that periodically I try to use.

Now I can smile about it.   Then?  Not so much.

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